Runaway No More

As a caseworker in our In-Home Coach Program, I provide case management services to at-risk families who have been referred to our program by the County of Orange Social Services Agency.  These families mostly are involved with cases that deal with abuse or neglect.  As an agency, our goal is to provide preventative services to keep the abuse from recurring.

I provided parenting services to a single mother and her 14 year old daughter for 8 weeks.  Unfortunately, this young girl had a history of running away from home three to four times a week.  In addition, she was sexually abused three times by three different people. She was struggling with a variety of different issues that just made her want to run away from it all.

Over the course of a month, I worked intensively with her, discussed her goals, and addressed her reputation and how what she was doing could negatively influence her future.  She is a bright girl that wants to pave a positive path for her future. For example, one of her goals is to go to Harvard Law School.  I thought this was a wonderful goal to have!  I talked to her about how important school is, her friends and the instances of teen pregnancy and how these could adversely affect her achieving her goals.

I am thrilled to say that for the past three weeks she hasn’t run away—not even once! I asked her why she changed, and her answer was that after talking to me, she realized what she wanted to do with her life, and understood that running away wasn’t going to help. So little by little she wanted to make a change.

These small changes in someone’s life are what make my job that much more rewarding!

~Casework Specialist, In-Home Coach Program

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